textbook cases

Tucker Carlson Doesn’t Want Schools Teaching Kids About Gays Just Because They’re Gay

Tucker Carlson didn’t want lawmakers wasting time debating DADT, and now he doesn’t want school administrators in California wasting the time of students by teaching them about the historical contributions of LGBT people as a means to fight bullying.

“You don’t need to be anti-gay to be against” SB48, says Carlson of the bill that gay State Sen. Mark Leno is pushing through, which would require public school texts to include queer figures.

“There are two problems with this: one, it’s propaganda; and two, it’s blackmail,” Carlson boldly insists. “The point of history is to teach what happened. Not what you wanted to happen. Not what you hope will happen but what actually happened. In this case, a lawmaker is saying, portray a special — an interest group in a positive light or kids will be hurt. Hence the blackmail. They are basically saying if you don’t do this, kids could die. And that’s an outrageous thing to say.”

No, it’s not outrageous, because gay, lesbian, bi, and trans people did make worthwhile contributions to American and world history — they just aren’t acknowledged for it, or their involvement in the queer community is neglected. (The most basic example of this is when textbook authors fail to mention a historical gay figure’s same-sex partner, while an equivalent straight person’s spouse would always be included.) At its core, Leno’s effort is an attempt to showcase the men and women, who happened to be LGBT, that made possible the world we live in today. By ignoring these folks or their sexuality as the texts currently do, schools are silently telling young people that queers didn’t make a difference. They did. And so will this bill.

“[T]he purpose of school is to educate children,” concludes Carlson, “and this not only differs from that aim, it gets in the way of it.” He is wrong again. The purpose of school is manifold. Education is certainly at the top. But teaching social skills, acceptance, and fostering generations of well-rounded respectful leaders is up there too. Leno’s bill should not be necessary, but it is — for the same reasons texts needed correcting when they ignored the contributions of blacks and women.